The forgotten Hispanic member of the U.S. Congress


On election night 2018, a record number of Hispanic congressional candidates won their respective races to earn a spot in the U.S. Congress, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) and Texas’ first women members of the House, Veronica Escobar (D) and Sylvia Garcia (D)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which is chaired by Rep. Joaquin Castro and whose membership consists of only Democrats, lists 36 members, including Senators Robert Menendez and Catherine Cortez- Masto.

As for the Republicans,  Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) round up the senators, while Reps. Bill Flores (TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Brian Mast (FL), round up the representatives.

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I know what you are thinking, Brian Mast is Hispanic?

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The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’

It’s hard to believe because he doesn’t look or sound ethnic, nor does he have a Latino last name, but Mast is of Mexican descent.

Mast, who speaks as much broken Spanish as Senator Ted Cruz (which is not a lot), is a second generation Hispanic. Mast’s grandfather legally immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.

According to is campaign website, his mother’s name is Timoxena Trujillo. You can’t get anymore Latino or Hispanic that that.

Will Mast try to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus?

Probably not, considering the group refused to allow former Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo join their ranks. Maybe Mast will sign up to the join the Congressional Hispanic Conference, the Republican answer to the Hispanic Caucus?

What about Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)?

Nope, Nunez is Latino, but not Hispanic. There is a big difference. Nunez’s grandparents immigrated to California from Portugal, and not from Spain or a Spanish-speaking Latin American country.

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning South Florida-based political journalist owns Diverse New Media, Corp. which publishes,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at Email him at


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